Will you permit me to take a look?
BUT from what I have read so far is that God is just full of hate, it seems that everything you do wrong you will be put to death.
Nope. An understanding of ancient near eastern law may seem to be a bit much for today’s standards but it helps here. Understand this: the earliest long-term prison we know of was made relatively recently (the 14th Century). Back then, judgments had to be swift and hard, so as to maintain order.
Now imagine yourself amongst the early Israelites. You are surrounded by enemies. All of which want to kill you and take your stuff. You are a people forever on the move and unwelcome where ever you go. Not to mention the fact that you are vastly outnumbered. The last thing you need, is to be fighting amongst yourselves. So if there is a crime, it is dealt with quickly and with minimal bloodshed.
No take at the crimes listed in the Torah. Notice anything? All the crimes which merit a death sentence are crimes involving treason, murder, assault, rape, and grand theft (which is also considered treasonous). It isn’t “everything you do”, but rather only the things that could put the whole tribe and the few outside allies they have in jeopardy.
Even then, ALL accused parties (under Israelite law) were given an opportunity to prove their innocence in a court and even if found guilty, they would be spared punishment and they would be allowed to go on with their existence if they simply admitted their wrong and made restitution to those they hurt. The sole exception to this was willful murder (since there is no price on a life). Repeat offenders or those caught making multiple offenses at once would be treated more harshly.
In reality, the Biblical laws were far more just (and arguably far, FAR more lenient) than any legal codex existing at the time.
The passage from Leviticus? Two words you need to bear in mind: Ish and Zakhar. Both refer to males, but only “Ish” refers to males in general (ALL men). Zakhar refers to males set aside for religious purposes (IE Priests). The command is against taking up a practice of the Isrealite’s neighbors, the prostitution of temple priests, which was (along with being an objectification of a person into a sex object, which is a big no-no) seen as treachery because they had adopted a practice associated with foreign powers and their strange gods.
Despite what some of our misguided brethren might say, this passage was NOT a condemnation of homosexuals or homosexuality in general.
I have a problem with alot of the scripture becasue again most of it has preached hate.
But that’s the thing: it doesn’t. There is no preaching of hate in the text. If you would specify a passage, I would gladly explain the context and clear things up for you.
See, the Bible is a tragic love story. God so loved his people that he suffered with them, forgave them when they turned on him, and when the time came he even bled for them upon a cross, being mocked and spat upon by those who he had healed and held so closely. Yet, the people did not love him back. But he still came for them, and he still calls out to them, to us. Just as he did in Egypt, Canaan, Jerusalem, and places long forgotten by time. He still does.
That is the God of whom Scripture speaks: a loving father reaching out to his children.
Also how on earth these days am I supposed to take an offering of a goat, sheep, bull or cow these days. According to the bible the smell of the burning animal is pleasing to god.
I’m afraid that, much like the early Isrealites, you’ve missed the point. God didn’t care about the sacrifices themselves. As with given any gift, it was the thought that counted.
As we see in Amos 5:22 the people tried to “buy” God off with sacrifices…and the big guy was not pleased:
“Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.”
“The multitude of your sacrifices–what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”
“What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.”
What happened? Why wasn’t God happy about the sacrifices? Because the point was lost. It isn’t about giving up something physical. It’s about showing your love. It’s about being righteous and being a just, morally upright person. To God, the only gift worthy of him is love and justice.
As we read in 1 Samuel 15:22:
“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
As such, a person who serves the poor, feeds the hungry, protects the innocent, and loves his neighbor, gives the one sacrifice that God wanted all along. No beef or veal needed!
See? A simple reading of the text as a whole, would’ve cleared that misgiving right up!
If anyone has the same struggles I would like to hear about them cause I am certainly lost with it all.
To read the Bible is to struggle. The book wasn’t meant to be read as-is. It was translated from multiple languages and uses literary devices that, while common to the people at the time and in the area, are alien to us. To understand the Bible’s context and message is to dedicate oneself to a path of study, meditation and discipline. It is, by no means, easy. I spent years studying it and the works of great minds in philosophy before I converted to Christianity and I am just a fresh faced novice in the grand scheme of things.
My recommendation is this: get a Biblical commentary series (I recommend starting with the O.T and move book by book) and really study the translation notes.
I, of course, will be glad to help. Just ask me any question, Lee and I’ll try my best.
Yours is a struggle that we all go through, Lee. But there are answers where you least expect them.
Yours in Christ,